Charges dropped against ex-Capital Playhouse artistic director

TACOMA -- Child pornography charges were dismissed Monday against the former artistic director of Olympia's Capital Playhouse after a judge decided the information used to charge him was garnered by an illegal computer search.

Troy Fisher, 52, was charged with possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct in Thurston County Court, but a judge ruled the search of Fisher's computer was illegal Monday.

The charges stem from when Fisher, a longtime employee of Capital Playhouse who frequently came into contact with children, was reported missing by his family on July 23. The Olympia Police Department went to his home in an attempt to locate him and analyzed his phone and computer. A detective allegedly found a total of 151 images of child pornography images on his computer, including photos of boys and girls from the ages of 10-14 engaged in sexual activity.

Fisher called 911 from a payphone on July 25. Paramedics responded to find him dehydrated and disoriented, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said. He later told paramedics that he had no memory of the prior 48 hours. He said he couldn’t sleep on the night of July 23 and went to his car to listen to music so he wouldn’t wake his niece and nephew, who were staying with him. Next thing he knew, officials said, he woke up in a bush two days later.

Fisher admitted to having pornographic images on his computer, prosecutors said, but claimed any child pornography was unintentional. He also admitted to viewing pornography on two computers at Capital Playhouse, and detectives allegedly found three images involving minors on computers at the nonprofit playhouse.